Family Records     


George Washington Cottrell Pension Applications, 1887-1890

Starting in 1887, while still living in Parker County, Texas, George Washington Cottrell made several unsuccessful attempts to secure a pension based on his Mexican War Service. The problem was a consistent one: insufficient records could be found to substantiate George's memory of the units he had served in and the battles where he had fought. He named all the officers he had served under and men he had served with to the best of his recollection, and records were found for one officer he had served with and some of the men he had served with, but his were not. Some of the battles where he remembered having fought had no records of any Texas volunteers being involved.

In many such cases the problem was two-fold: first, the bureaucracy had no real incentive to dig deeply into the records to substantiate a claim, since that would require the government to pay out cash; and, second, by the time the veteran filed his claim, his memory had dimmed with the passage of years and with age.

Regardless of their merit, the pension documents offer genealogical nuggets:
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